The Forbidden City

The Forbidden City

The Imperial Palace from 1420 to 1912, the Forbidden City was once the centre of the Chinese universe as the seat of the emperors of the Ming and Qing dynasty. The magnificent buildings still dominate the centre of Beijing; over 180 acres of exquisite and ornate traditional Chinese palatial architecture, built to an exact symmetry and geometry to achieve the perfect balance of yin and yang. It was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1987.

The Forbidden City, is the world’s largest palace complex and China’s best preserved collection of ancient building. It is known as the ‘forbidden’ city due to the fact it was off limits for 500 years to commoners, unless they were expressly invited, and has 980 buildings within its moat and turreted walls. Whilst the buildings themselves are grandiose and beautiful, you’ll also find a wealth of dynastic artefacts inside – the very best way to glimpse what life was like for the emperor in Imperial China.

Popular Tours Visiting The Forbidden City

holiday duration 16 Days from
holiday price 2,990pp

China is a land of many wonders – ancient and modern, natural and man-made. This hugely popular tour is a comprehensive journey through China’s most iconic sights from the magnificent Great Wall to the mighty Yangtze River.

holiday duration 14 Days from
holiday price 2,790pp

Savour the natural grandeur of the Three Gorges on a relaxing Yangtze River Cruise – just one part of a wonderful tour that also includes China’s enthralling cities of Shanghai, Xian, Beijing, and of course the unforgettable Giant Pandas of Chengdu.

holiday duration 18 Days from
holiday price 2,690pp

From international Shanghai and the pandas of Chengdu to the imperial highlights of Beijing and all the dramatic landscapes in between, relish the historical, cultural and natural delights of China on this comprehensive trip.

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The Forbidden City Map

Eight Facts About
The Forbidden City

The Forbidden City is the most visited museum in the world, with 14 million annual visitors

The Palace was home to 24 emperors – 14 Ming and 10 Qing

It is said that there are 9,999 and a half rooms in the complex – only God would be entitled to 10,000 rooms

The roof tiles of the majority of the Forbidden City are yellow, which was the official colour of the Chinese emperors

The roof of the library has black tiles to symbolize water to protect the books from fire

The huge studded red gates throughout the complex have nine gilded door nails per row – 9 implies the supremacy of the emperor and represents heaven

There are over a million artefacts within the Forbidden City

The soldiers who stood guard within the imperial palace had to be exactly same size so they were perfectly uniform when they marched


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